[lg policy] Rpemoving Filipino in college to lead to 'cultural genocide' - group

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 10:40:39 EDT 2019

Rpemoving Filipino in college to lead to 'cultural genocide' - group
Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 05:15 PM

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MANILA – A group of Filipino and Panitikan advocates warned Chief Justice
Lucas Bersamin of dire consequences should the Supreme Court stick to its
ruling affirming the exclusion of Filipino and Panitikan as core subjects
from the college curriculum.

In its letter, the group Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino
(Tanggol Wika) said if the high court affirms its decision, “Filipino and
Panitikan will not only be killed as mandatory subjects in college, but
Filipino will also be murdered as an effective medium of instruction.”

It said this will go against the Constitution’s “well-defined mandate for
Filipino as medium of instruction at all levels of education.”

“We hope to still move the heavens and the earth to stop this imminent
cultural genocide, the impending murder of our national language and local
literature,” the group added, acknowledging that they filed the letter
instead of filing a second motion for reconsideration, which is prohibited
under Court rules.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous vote in October last year, upheld the
constitutionality of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum
Order No. 20 (CMO 20) which removed Filipino and Panitikan subjects as part
of the core college curriculum.

   - Anti-Filipino? Wrong, says CHED on Panitikan, Filipino exclusion

It upheld its ruling in a resolution dated March 5 this year saying CMO 20
did not violate the 1987 Constitution because it merely transferred these
subjects to the curriculum of elementary and high schools.

The Court also ruled CMO only provides for the “minimum standards for the
general education component of all degree programs” and does not limit the
academic freedom of schools to offer additional courses on these subjects.

But Tanggol Wika said CMO 20 prioritizes the English language over Filipino
and Panitikan, noting that the teaching of English language is still
required in college.

It said this violates the Constitution which mandates Filipino as the
primary official language and English as “merely secondary language.” It
added the Constitution itself provides that English’s inclusion as official
language may even be removed by law.

“It is a travesty to allow CHED to make a regressive move on language
policy, when the Constitution mandates forward action, continuous progress
in the process of cultivating the national language,” it said.

The group claimed CHED also ignored the opposition of the Komisyon sa
Wikang Filipino and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The group also warned that around 10,000 faculty members will be affected
by the expected job cuts while millions of students will be deprived of
their chance to expand and deepen their ability to use the national
language “in a more intellectual way.”

The group invoked the words of Simoun, a character in national hero Dr.
Jose Rizal’s novel “El Filibusterismo,” who castigated those who favored
Spanish over Philippine languages.

“One and all you forget that while a people preserves its language, it
preserves the marks of its liberty, as a man preserves his independence
while he holds to his own way of thinking. Language is the thought of the
peoples,” the group said.

The filing of the protest letter was accompanied by a brief protest action
by around 20 members of Tanggol Wika.



 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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